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Life

Life-learned lessons, relationships, marriage, faith, lifestyle, and everything else in between.

Filtering by Tag: daily wisdom

#30DaysofGratitude

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

The idea behind this hashtag is very simple: post things you're grateful for for 30 days straight. I don't mean one of those #blessed posts that are actually just boasting/fishing-for-compliments- posts in disguise.  Because seriously, it's easy to add #Blessed when you're taking a selfie on a yacht in St. Barts. But what about the dull everyday moments that you spend with your family at home? Can you count them as blessings too? When I saw people doing it last year, I thought hmm I should do it in 2016. So here we go! I know I won't be able to keep it up, mostly because I don't post on Sundays. But on the days when I do post on social media, I will surely post about the things I'm grateful for, to help remind myself and y'all that there's always something to be grateful for everyday!

Posting these for the last 3 days have stimulated me to be intentional in counting my blessings and being grateful for them. It might seem hard to do so sometimes, especially when we are distracted or overwhelmed by the bad stuff that are happening in our lives. Trust me, I am not posting/writing from a good place. I have been dealing with a lot of things lately. But you know what? I am training myself to at least give thanks to God for the little things. They don't have to be deep. You can thank Him for your family, the existence of your favorite dessert, the weather, or the fact that Cyber Monday is coming soon (which means most online sellers will offer crazy discounts on Monday, 11/28, my store included!) lol.

However you do it, make sure you promote gratitude instead of competition.

And maybe when we get so used to doing it, gratitude can become our lifestyle :) Let's give it a try, friends!

The Golden Rule for Social Media (& Life)

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

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I honestly get tempted to do what everybody is doing these days - showing off and fishing for compliments through social media- a lot. Only to prove to others that I got it going on as well as they do you know. If you haven't felt the urge to do so, you're probably not such a good liar ;) But each time, I would think of this quote that I came across back in 2014. 20140208-061509.jpg

Just because you have it doesn't mean you have to flaunt it. Just because you get opportunities, doesn't mean you have to announce it. Just because you get a compliment, doesn't mean you have to retweet it lol.

Why brag when you can work hard to a point where other people will do it for you? 

Why not be so good at what you do that you  don't even have to make people think that you're successful, people will call you that themselves. That's what I aim to do these days.

Anyways, if you have time, watch this video by Lily Singh, it's pretty hilarious.

https://youtu.be/FOl11hnGvcY

 

I like the part where she says "At least one of us needs to  be convinced that my life is great!" - when she talks about the vacation photos people post on instagram.

Nowadays, if my photos have no purpose, I just don't post them. Purpose meaning a campaign that I'm supporting (both paid or not paid) or an inspiration (where to eat, favorite quotes, encouragements, lessons learned from my daily life and stuff), or a celebration (birthdays/anniversaries,milestones) that I'd like to share to uplift or congratulate others. I have also developed a habit of not post anything or even look at any of my social media accounts on Sundays (even the ones I get paid to manage) so that I can fully enjoy my time with my family. I think we have to have that balance. And I do not think we have to broadcast our lives all the time. Let's just live it. What's in it for us anyways?

May we walk with humility and courage today my friends. Have a good one!

Burning Bridges

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

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Have you ever felt like you could remember how a certain event in your past made you feel, without remembering the exact details of the event? After a few years of being a 'sane human being', I sometimes wonder how on earth do I still struggle with the thoughts of my past. My past was not that 'bad', to be honest. I wasn't a prostitute and I thankfully have never been abused or anything like that. But from time to time, I find myself having flashbacks about the many things that might not appeal to me anymore, but used to feel so good in my younger years.

I call them my toxic thoughts. It's like there are a million little bridges in my brain that connect me to them.

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But I know I am not alone. We all have those bridges that connect our experiences, feelings, thoughts, and emotions to each other. Some are good, some are toxic. That's why we have our good and bad habits, right? In fact I think, habits are formed by these bridges! You go over the bridge everytime you think of that one thing that you want to get/feel/achieve on the other side of the bridge. Maybe this is how an addiction develops as well.

I'm no expert in neuroscience and brains, but I was blown away when I heard a cognitive neuroscientist, Dr. Caroline Leaf spoke about these bridges last year at a service I attended. The scientists call them 'neural pathways'.

You know what's cool, though? You can change them. You can alter their directions to everything good, true, and lovely instead of those toxic, destructive, stupid things.

So here's what I'm trying to say. I want to set my toxic bridges on fire.

I know it's gonna take time, but I hope to get rid of these million bad bridges as I grow daily. And hopefully, I can build the new, good ones in the process.

I hope you're ready to burn yours too.

 

 

 

*photo by Ana Gabriel & Muhammed Fayiz

Celebrating the Superhero

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

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When I was single, just like most of people, I thought choosing a husband involved a lot of loving feeling and romance. But thank God I realized early on, that in selecting the right one for me, I needed to USE MY BRAIN in order to determine whether or not he would be the right partner for me to do life with. Because really, at the end of the day, that's what marriage is about, doing life together, growing together, and raising a family together. Loving feeling comes and goes, but values, good principles, belief, and faith will stay. Today, with all of my heart I can say that I thankfully had chosen the right partner to do life with.

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He's a great friend, he keeps me on my toes, always truthful, and very loving (even more loving than me, I really need to improve in this area!). He is a great cook, very smart with money, a great planner, and thankfully, he is a great dad.

The kind of man I would want my son to look up to. Strong in his faith, very careful with his choices, not afraid of challenges, yet goofy and vulnerable at the same time. He's not afraid to show his feelings and cry, you know. That's rare to find.

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I know J can see that too through his 3-year-old mind and soul. That's why he lights up everytime his sees his dad. And I honestly think that's why J is into books and numbers (because, that surely didn't come from me lol).

I'm so blessed to have him as our superhero. He is not perfect, but I know that his heart is in the right place, and that is good enough to make any dad a superhero.

So at 10 days before Father's Day, we celebrate you, Mr.Man. Happy Father's Day!

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We got a help from Customink to create this t-shirt on their  Design Lab. Scanned J's handprints and uploaded them on the web, before placing the order and receiving it in just 3 days with their super rush delivery. Thank you Customink :) 

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What My Recent Blog Stats Has Taught Me

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

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I put this throwback photo up as this post's cover just to show you how it all started. In early 2014, I decided to start blogging about motherhood and my journey of moving to the U.S. with my family. I didn't really think about making money from it or having a huge following, although I've always thought that it would be nice to get recognized somehow.

I mostly wrote about life lessons I had learned from everyday moments as a young mom and wife, about 4 to 8 times a month. Nothing crazy or ambitious, and back then, I only had about 500 followers on instagram. I didn't post everyday on social media. And! I took ALL of my photos only with my iPhone 4s.

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Remember this photo? Taken on my anniversary morning,with an iPhone. And J was a little over 1 year old. I remember shocked seeing '200 likes' on my instagram page for the first time lol.

Fast forward to today, I have over 11k followers on instagram, I get invitations to local lifestyle events, tons of partnership with different brands, photographers taking my photos, a fancy camera for me to take photos on my own, a new computer and softwares to edit everything from photos to videos (oh yeah, I have a youtube channel) - I mean, it's safe to say that my blogging life has been upgraded to a new level of influence, or so I thought.

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According to the statistics though, that isn't the case here. My readership has actually dropped almost 4 times since last year!

But what happened? I didn't even try last year. I didn't even post that often on instagram last year. I didn't even get invited to fancy events last year. Nobody in Dallas even knew me last year! I was a regular stay-at-home mom last year!

Wait, is that why?

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Have I grown apart from my original purpose of blogging which was to inspire young mothers and women?

This statistic has proven this powerful statement right here :

Having popularity is not the same as having influence. 

I was touching so many lives last year without even trying! Now, I'm making money yes, I'm not gonna lie to you. But I feel like I do not affect as many people as I did last year, personally. How is that possible? I really don't know.

But I know this : I can breathe now.

I can focus on my family now and not neglect them over my editing and blogging.

I don't have to worry about partnerships and getting invitations to events.

I can just breathe. And be.

And I can to go back to sharing my heart out, without getting too personal (you know my style, I do not treat my blog or social media as my diary, I treat it as an outlet for me to share the lessons I've learned. So I won't give away personal details that are not necessary on the internet lol).

Because at the end of the day, this broken world craves for hope, love, and light. And if I could shine just a little, I could make an impact in someone's life.

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For those of you who have stuck with me throughout the changes, thank you :) I'm learning to balance it all. I'm not gonna stop doing business of course, but I will definitely pour out my heart more. Thanks again, I am grateful for y'all!

*cover photo by Shakti Siddarta, Bishop Art photo by Megan Weaver